I admit it. I read book reviews. Not the professional review so much as the average reader reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I read book blogger reviews too. Occasionally, I may even pick up the books that are recommended in the reviews as I did recently with A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. It was highly recommended by a blogger I know as one of the best she'd read in 2014. It was supposed to be scifi and since I was looking for scifi, I gave it a chance.
Now, being the review reader that I am, I added the book to my Goodreads list and looked at the reviews. Just a warning here, the book is also a romancy YA novel, so the readers might be a bit different from adult novel readers. So what do you think I saw?
I saw pages and pages of readers gushing over the cover before they'd ever read it. Yes, the cover is nice. It has some pretty colors, but who would have thought a picture of two cities would set the YA readers' hearts on fire? I don't get it. I love watercolors as much as the next gal, but I also know that the inside of a book often has nothing to do with the outside. As it so happened, the inside of this book was actually disappointing to many of those Goodreads readers, who annihilated the book in various scathing reviews.
I've written enough of my own books to know just how hard it is and I've read enough to know just how subjective that is. I would no sooner walk up to an author and claw their heart out with my fingernails than post a mean spirited review, because that's what mean reviews do. By "mean" I'm talking about reviews that go on for pages belittling and denigrating every nit picky little thing the author did or didn't do. Believe it or not, dear reader, there's a human being behind every book you read, doing their very best to entertain you. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's nothing personal, I promise you.
I have a new book coming out in 2015. Sometimes I shake in my shoes at the thought of the reviews that are sure to come, but I have to remind myself that its all subjective. Not every book is for every reader. There are certainly books I don't enjoy, but I don't take pleasure in shredding those books and their authors publically. I prefer to do something more useful with my time, like read the next book on my list.
I guess, as they say, haters gonna hate. I wish instead they would write a book of their own and just see if they could do any better before they start slinging the mud at others. What are the chances of that?